How can I make going to daycare less stressful to my child?

Former preschool teacher here . Most children do amazing if parents would drop off and go. I know not all kids are the same but from my experience most children do well if the parents would make the transition as quick as possible.


Try to get the names of a few of her friends there and also the teachers names and just talk to her about them allllllll the time. Talk about some of the fun things they do like painting, playing outside, snack time, reading etc.
Just be REALLY over the top excited about anything she brings home.
It took about 3-4 weeks for us to get over the hurdle when we started daycare proir to daycare my daughter was only with grandparents on my work days. I also random have her grandma or gigi pick her up from “school” so we will talk about that in the morning.

It’s a good chance baby girl is putting on a show and she only doing that because she loves you and wants to make sure you feel needed, I’m deff no expert and it took me til my 3rd kids and a few nieces and nephews to realize what was going on. If not as soon as you shut the door up to maybe 10 minutes and they are fine playing either with themselves or other kids. If your really worried about it wait a couple days and just pop in without calling and that should put your mind at ease

I always called daycare “school” and would tell them “big kids go to school, are you so excited to make friends at your school?” Also I’d go in and help get them settled before I left and reassure them I’d be back soon to pick them up. If you’re already doing these things. Maybe offer a special treat at the end of each week- like a mommy and me date to do whatever she wants to do if she does good at school everyday.

Drop her off do not stay just an I love you and will see you later. My son did same then he got OK with going again

I hope I am wrong,
But mom check closely something might have changed in daycare. Find the reason why she liked it first and not now? It’s always good to talk with toddlers by going down to their level. Ask her while playing with her. So that she’ll be distracted and may spill out something to you.

IMO it will come in waves of wanting to go vs not wanting to go, assuming it’s a safe space to attend. My son is almost two and every morning I tell him he’s going to daycare today. I don’t ask him if he wants to go because that implies a choice and I try to say it enthusiastically. Most days he says “No!” because he would rather stay home with me. I then talk about all the fun things at daycare to try and remind him how much fun he will have (friends, circle time, the family fish). Most days when I pick my son up he is happy to see me but you can tell he has had a great day. When I ask him if he had a good day on the way home he always says “Yes!” Also about the concerns regarding dropping your child off and wondering how they are, it is really hard and we all struggle as working parents with this to an extend. I know my home daycare sometimes sends photos and daycare centres sometimes have apps to see how your child’s day is going. Just know if your child is having a terrible day or if there are any concerns the daycare should be making contact with you immediately. I would ask the daycare what their policy with communication is to clarify. I try and think if it as “no news is good news”. I have also found that consistency is key and it’s important to have a regular routine, especially in the mornings so your child knows what to expect. Good luck!

Try talking to the owner of the daycare, to see if they have suggestions to help your child adjust. They have probably seen this before and might know how to help.

Hungry hippos is a good game for little kids, cause you don’t really have to take turns…

Talk to your daughter about why she doesn’t want to go. Sometimes children need an opportunity to talk things out. There may have been something that happened that scared her or she didn’t like and now in her mind it’s a lot bigger deal because that’s how their brain works.


I found as a dayhome lady for 10 yrs that kids draw off of parents energy. Kids know when your off. She’s likely reacting to your paranoia and not the daycare itself. Your fear scares her- relax.
If her behaviour becomes extreme in reference to daycare- there is likely an issue.

She’ll adjust. Just give it time. It takes longer the older they start. One of the benefits to starting as babies I guess.

My baby started daycare and she would cry for me every time I left. I felt so bad and when I checked on her she was fine and playing :woman_facepalming:t2: she would just make a scene for me and then go on and play. Fast forward a year and she goes 2 weeks out of the month when her dad isn’t home and she loves it. She loves “playing with all the kids” lol
Maybe it’ll just take a little more time to get use to. Make it sound exciting to go play.

Trust your gut. If you feel like something isn’t right, then maybe something isn’t right. I worked in a few daycare centers when I was younger and some people didn’t treat the children right. This might be your child’s way of telling you something is wrong :thinking:

If she was fine the first couple days I’d be worried as to why. When I was a little I started acting up about a daycare. My mom found out the gal was spanking kids when they got in trouble and I didn’t like it. Maybe (if it’s ok with daycare rules) she can get a special stuffie who needs “to go to daycare” but is scared and needs your little one to take them? Hope you find some solace momma!

Remind her you always come back! Dont be to hard on yourself I cried alot when we first started daycare but now my kids love it. Maybe even go for the good old bribe if you domt cry at drop off I’ll bring a special treat at pick up

idk about day care bc mine at age 2 and three was in actually preschool but mine loves it they never cried but maybe bc i had them prepared already we went and visited the class meet some of the parents and other students in class even had some play dates. it gets better

It wil stop. Usually right after you walk out the door! Went through this for weeks with my grandson

As someone who runs a daycare in my experience it’s best to keep drop offs quick, but maintain the same routine each day. Give her a big hug and remind her how much fun she’s going to have and that you can’t wait to hear all about her day when you pick her up. If she starts crying, leave anyway. I promise, once you are gone she will be fine. I often send a pic via text for parents that might be struggling and new to daycare to help ease their mind. New routines take time to adjust to.


The second week is always the hardest. Dont make a big deal about going or issues. See if you can have her bring a prepackaged snack for her friends in class. Allowing her to feel important as she walks in. Dont feel weird about calling. Ive done daycare for over 12 years. If you get a good vibe from owner and trust them, did your research etc feel confident. Daycare will usually tell you like hey this is working or this is not working. Sometimes its NOT the right spot…bur usually it’s just an adjustment.